2023 Featured Artists
The Flag Wool & Fiber Festival is proud to present Venancio Aragon and Alissa Allen as our 2023 Featured Artists. In addition to instructing workshops, Venancio and Alissa will be presenting free featured artist demonstrations. We invite you to attend both demonstrations and learn from these talented fiber artists.
Tools of the Navajo: The Upright Tension Loom and Lap Spindle
Saturday, June 3 from 1 pm to 3 pm
The Indigenous upright tension loom is unique to the American Southwest and was historically the main structure used by Navajo, Pueblo and Hopi weavers for textile production. Please come and visit Navajo textile artist Venancio Aragon as he demonstrates tapestry twill weaving on his loom and how the Navajo lap spindle is used to spin wool fibers into yarn. This demonstration is free and open to all.
Venancio Aragón is a Diné textile artist and holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees: one in Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and the other in Native American Studies from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Prior to becoming a full-time artist, Venancio worked for the National Park Service as an interpretive ranger in various parks and monuments throughout the Southwest. His interest in archaeology, anthropology, and art has led him on a journey of researching and reviving portions of the Diné weaving repertoire that are in danger of being lost. Venancio was the 2020 Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellow at the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His work at SAR centered on documenting and recreating lesser known and uncommon Diné weaving techniques. He lives and works in Farmington, New Mexico, where he continues to educate and promote Diné weaving as a form of decolonial expression. Venancio’s textiles were part of the exhibitions Color Riot! How Color Changed Navajo Textiles, COLOR: The Beauty and Science of Color, and Tangible/Intangible. Learn more about Venancio at www.venancioaragon.com.
Mushroom Dyeing for All!
Sunday, June 4 from 11 am to 1 pm
Learn about the exciting world of mushroom and lichen dyeing from Alissa Allen of Mycopigments. Find out how you can incorporate mushroom and lichen dyes into your textile arts experience while expanding your understanding of the natural world. Alissa will present on the history of using fungi for dyes, how to test them for dye potential, and guide you through dyeing your own silk scarf. This hands-on demonstration is free and open to all.
Alissa Allen is the founder of Mycopigments. She specializes in teaching about regional mushroom and lichen dye palettes to fiber artists and mushroom enthusiasts all over the world. Alissa got her start in the Pacific Northwest and has been sharing her passion for mushrooms for over 20 years. She has written articles for Fungi Magazine and Fibershed, is published in Nature's Colorways: Conjuring the Chemistry and Culture of Natural Dyes, Long Thread Media, and her work with mushroom dyes is highlighted in True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes and Pigments by Keith Recker, Thrums Publications. In 2015, Alissa created Mushroom and Lichen Dyers United and the Mushroom Dyers Trading Post Facebook groups as a platform to mentor, connect, and facilitate discussion between her students and folks with less access to her classes. These groups along with her prolific workshop offerings and informational dye booths have brought together a vibrant community of over 30,000 members. Though her teachings are centered around regional fungal dye palettes, her overall mission is to inspire people to engage more deeply with nature. It is her hope that with engagement, commitment to care for our planet will grow exponentially.